Fostering Better Communication

By providing a platform for the sharing of information, resources, communication and experiences of those living their final days fully, the vision of Life Matters Media is to create a community for ones facing the end of life and for those that care for them. Ultimately, we seek to foster a greater understanding of the capacity that end of life decisions have to nurture the human spirit.

Stories

Personal narratives of challenges, decisions and triumphs.

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Medicine

Clear, concise analysis of research impacting you and your family.

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Experts

Columnists provide multi-disciplinary expertise to help you plan ahead.

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Newswire

One-stop, comprehensive aggregate of end of life issues in the media.

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President’s Report

Dear Friends,

Many changes, opportunities and events are on our horizon. We invite you to mark your calendar now so you can participate in our diverse programming this winter and spring!

First, some introductions. Our Executive Director, Shannon Sullivan starts work this week. We are delighted to welcome her; she has enthusiastically embraced our mission and commitment to growth. You can contact her at shannon@lifemattersmedia.org

Shannon SullivanAlso, we are grateful to the many who have offered to donate time and talent in volunteer capacities. We are focused in 2015 on expanding meaningful volunteer opportunities. For starters, Lynette Kalsnes is a new Life Matters Media Advisor and volunteer Program Director. Lynette is a friend and media colleague who held a similar position with the Association of Women Journalists. She is already planning programs that you will hear more about, and if you have ideas for others- please share with her at lynwriter3@yahoo.com

Lynette_web001We will launch our improved lifemattersmedia.org soon; it will house an easy-to-navigate calendar of our many events. Until then, please save the dates for these programs:

The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago is co-sponsoring an event in which we have received much interest; save the evening of Thursday, March 19th for an inter-faith forum taking on end of life care options and their alignment with varying religious traditions. The event and reception will be held in the Lurie Baldwin Auditorium at Northwestern University downtown. Check our website’s program list for more info soon. It will be free, but as space is limited- registration will be required. Contact randi@lifemattersmedia.org with any questions.

Registration for the February 28th Midwinter Conference of Fourth Presbyterian Church, Dying to Know: Life Affirming Conversations about Living and Dying Well will open soon. We will present an afternoon session, The Dilemmas of Dying in America.

On March 31st, Mary and I will be Starting the Conversation in a “Main Stage” program at Harold Washington Library- our largest forum to date. We hope this will be an exciting precedent to National Health Care Decisions Day; it’s an event we look forward to talking more about soon. Be sure to check out our resources online.

We are also looking forward to begin discussions with our Outreach Partners: Wellness House, the Cancer Wellness Center and Gilda’s Club Chicago. Throughout the year, we will be visiting these organizations with a series of four presentations: Starting the Conversation, Securing Your Care Preferences, Caring Options and Final MattersFor more information, check our website. If you work with an organization interested in this long-term programming, please contact us.

The last event is social AND educational; please save the evening of May 19th- CRAFT BEER WEEK!- at REVOLUTION BREWING for what we’re calling (for now) “Your Digital Afterlife.” Tim Akimoff of WBEZ will be teaching us tips to ensure our online affairs are in order. Here is some information he shared on the airwaves: http://tinyurl.com/mq7fdqp

We’ll be seeing 24 of you- a classroom full- on February 21st for our Respecting Choices First Steps training. Thanks so much for your overwhelming interest; registration is now closed, but we hope to host another class soon.

Warmly,

Randi Belisomo
President and Co-Founder

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Life Matters Media’s Mission

Life Matters Media aims to be the premiere provider of information, resources and support for all involved in end of life decision-making. Through fostering better communication, we will empower the ill, aged, caregivers, surrogates and medical providers to navigate this life phase with confidence and dignity.

Life Matters Media’s Values

  • All individuals should have the ability to participate in decisions that affect their destinies.
  • Multiple and varied voices create a richer and more productive marketplace for the exchange of information.
  • A broad range of choices surrounding end of life issues exists. These choices should be considered carefully.
  • Neutral platforms are best to explore this journey and bring end of life issues to the forefront in a reflective forum.

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Life Matters Media is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for your support in our mission.

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Testimonials

What’s New

craig headshotStill Alice: A Portrait Of Familial Alzheimer’s Disease By Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This past weekend, I spent a snowy day in the theater to watch the movie Still Alice. Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a Columbia University neurolinguistics professor diagnosed with familial, early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The film opens as Alice celebrates her 50th birthday, and she experiences a momentary lapse in thought. We see her next delivering a lecture at UCLA, when she loses her place in the presentation. She later jogs through her own campus, finding she recognizes nothing.

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220px-Sigrid_Fry-Revere_PortraitThe American Living Organ Donor Fund: Removing Financial Barriers To Benevolent Actions By Randi Belisomo

An online fundraising campaign brought in three hundred dollars. Friends from church pooled just a bit more than that for the cause. But the total was not enough to cover six weeks of 46 year-old Stephanie Washington’s expenses as she recovered at her sister’s home in Hayward, California from kidney donation surgery to help her niece, a gunshot victim.

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Randi Belisomo

Starting The Conversation By Randi Belisomo

“You don’t seem to realize the fact that you’re white.”

The voice on the line stung with derision, palpably piercing my senses more directly than the westward summer sun blanketing the balcony where I sat. I was home, near Chicago’s Loop, and that call to a colleague on the south side of town unsettled my surroundings that just moments ago were comfortable. I twitched with new uneasiness in my skin, fair but reddened by the season’s recreation.

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GraveIn Light Of Possible Abuse At Body Donation Centers, Experts Offer Advice By Daniel Gaitan

In light of a multi-state investigation into cadavers being sold for medical research, experts are warning patients and families hoping to donate remains to carefully consider their options.

The FBI raided a suburban Chicago crematory and an affiliated company that arranges donations of human remains after search warrants were filed in Michigan.

Featured News

StoryCorps Chicago: Talking About Death

Co-Founders Dr. Mary F. Mulcahy and Randi Belisomo talk about their decision to launch LMM.

Randi Belisomo and Loyola Bioethics Institute's Mark Kuczewski Discuss Study Findings Regarding Medical Students' Concerns about Becoming Desensitized to Dying Patients

"End of Life Care in a Changing Health Care Environment: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Accountable Care Organizations" was presented to a live audience gathered at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management on November 13th.

Our Stories

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Life Matters Newswire

01/27/2015 - The American Living Organ Donor Fund: Removing Financial Barriers To Benevolent Actions

An online fundraising campaign brought in three hundred dollars. Friends from church pooled just a bit more than that for the cause. But…

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01/26/2015 - Starting The Conversation

This piece was first published in Voices in Bioethics. LMM President Randi Belisomo is a contributor. “You don’t seem to realize the fact…

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01/24/2015 - In Light Of Possible Abuse At Body Donation Centers, Experts Offer Advice

In light of a multi-state investigation into cadavers being sold for medical research, experts are warning patients and families hoping to donate remains to…

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